Dear Readers,

With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, I wanted to share some recipes to help you make the most out of the leftovers from your dinner.

According to the USDA blog, one fifth of the food available to the average American is wasted each year.  For those of you who have been reading the blog for a while will know that I hate wasting things whether it is refuse from the garden that can be put to use or food.

Leftover Meat & Veg Recipes

A holiday variation on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Chicken with couscous, honey and cinnamon can be made by switching the chicken for turkey.  The original recipe can be found here.

Bubble & squeak is a favorite traditional left over recipe from England.

600 g cooked mashed potatoes
1/2 cabbage or kale, shredded
2 tbsp oil
salt and pepper

Place the greens in a pan with the oil, cover tightly and cook until wilted, add mashed potato and mix well.  Cook for 5 minutes until the potatoes are browned and the mixture is piping hot. Season to taste.

Bacon or ham makes a great addition to bubble & squeak.

For a fancy twist on the Welsh Rarebit (or Rabbit) a.k.a grilled cheese, the tartiflette makes an indulgent toastie on a cold day.  Bacon, ham or pancetta all work well you could try an extra greedy version with turkey and ham.

Leftover ham or bacon can be added to an omelette with some cheese to make a frittata.  Spinach, ham and goat cheese is a great leftover recipe served with a crisp green salad.

Turkey or ham pasties are very English and these are a great variation on the Cornish pasty with ground beef.  They are great hot or cold and are a handy lunch box meal.  You can even make pasties with left over stew or curry and even a vegetarian version with lentils or beans and squash.

Turkey & Ham pie is a nod to the traditional English pork pie, taken from old grocery store magazine in my recipe files.

for the pastry
550 g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
200 g lard
250 mL stock
beaten egg to glaze

for the filling
400 g cooked ham
900 g cooked turkey
450 g pork sausage meat
8 rashers bacon, chopped
1 cooking apple, peeled and grated
1 tsp ground mace
1 tbsp mixed herbs
salt and pepper

for the jelly
2 tsp powdered gelatin
4 tbsp port
300 mL stock

Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl.  melt the fat in the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Pour over the flour and beat until you have a smooth, soft dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for 1 minute.  Divide into thirds.  Roll out two thirds to line the base and sides of a 20 cm, loose bottom, 8 cm deep cake tin.  wrap the remaining pastry in clingwrap to stop it drying out.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and tear the meat into another bowl and mix with the sausage meat, bacon and apple along with the herbs and seasoning.  Once mixed, press into the pastry lined cake tin.

Roll out the remaining pastry to form a pie lid and pinch the lid and edges together.  Brush the top with the beaten egg.  

Make a hole in the center of the pie and cover with a lightly oiled piece of greaseproof paper.  Bake for 2 hours.  Remove the greaseproof paper then bake for a further 30 mins until pastry is golden brown.

Sprinkle the gelatin in the port and leave to stand for 10 mins until it is spongy.  Heat over a pan of simmering water or bain-marie until the gelatin dissolves then whisk into the stock.  Use a small funnel to pour the stock and gelatin into the pie through the hole, leave to cool and chill overnight.

Soup Recipes

Soups are an easy fall back of all the leftover vegetables and meat.

Turkey & Cranberry soup

Turkey & Ham soup

Cream of Christmas soup

Turkey, Roast Potato and Stuffing soup

La Potee

Check out other Thanksgiving soup recipes here.

Don’t forget that the bones and carcass from the turkey or ham can be used to make stock which is the basis of many soups, stews, casseroles or cooking liquor for rice or grains.

I like to make stock from the carcass in the slow cooker to make a very rich stock.

1-2 carcasses of chicken/fowl/turkey
1 medium onion, quartered
3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
3 medium sticks of celery, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig rosemary
pinch salt & pepper
approx 5 pints water or enough to cover.

Place ingredients in the slow cooker and cook overnight or throughout the day.  Strain then portion into containers to cool then freeze.

If you have any favorite leftover recipes for the holidays we’d love to hear from you!